However, all entertainment apps share a few key traits in common:
They typically host dynamic content that is unique for each user. This makes entertainment apps different from apps where most or all of what each user sees is the same.
They host rich multimedia content including, in many cases, streaming audio and video.
They are often created by vendors operating in highly competitive markets, where a poor user experience can send users flocking to competitors’ apps. There is no shortage of apps out there for gaming, video streaming and so on, and if your app fails to perform, your users can easily convert to a competing solution.
For these reasons, teams responsible for testing entertainment apps must develop a testing strategy tailored to the unique challenges of these applications. Traditional testing tools and methodologies aren’t enough for running tests that support an excellent end-user experience for entertainment software.
With that reality in mind, let’s take a look at four best practices to follow when testing entertainment apps. These strategies go a long way toward ensuring that entertainment apps deliver the end-user experience that is necessary for maximizing user engagement and retaining users, no matter how complex or dynamic the apps happen to be.
Testing for Video and Audio Syncing
An easy – and all too common – way to shred the user experience in an entertainment app is to stream videos where the visual and audio streams go out of sync with each other. Videos need to be perfectly in sync with audio to keep users happy.
Of course, the challenge that testers face is that most testing frameworks don’t offer an easy means of evaluating whether visual and audio content are in sync with each other, especially when the content is streamed. Frameworks that let you evaluate when content initially loads or when it updates aren’t enough for analyzing sync between visual and audio streams. As a result, teams have traditionally resorted to testing for sync manually, or not testing it at all.
Fortunately, there’s a better way. Using AI, you can run tests that automatically identify lag between video and audio. In turn, you can detect problems that may cause streams to go out of sync, then fix them before your users experience sync issues.
Minimize Test Latency
When you have an entertainment app where content changes in real-time, your tests need to be able to execute and display results in real-time, too. But that’s difficult to do if network latency issues prevent data from moving between your test cloud and your testing tools quickly enough to provide real-time results.
There are two ways to solve this challenge. First, you could run tests on on-premises devices in order to avoid network latency problems. Alternatively, if you want to take advantage of a test cloud while still achieving real-time results, you can optimize network traffic in a way that minimizes latency and allows test data to flow between your test cloud and your testing tools in a few dozen milliseconds–as opposed to the hundreds of milliseconds traditionally required for packets to flow from tools to the device cloud, and then back again.
Test Across Geographies
The way a user based in, say, Barcelona experiences an entertainment app might be quite different from the way one located in New York or Tokyo experiences the same app. The reason why is that the network hops over which data needs to travel, as well as the efficiency of the carrier network that delivers the data, which can have a major impact on how quickly content loads and is streamed. For media-rich entertainment apps, latency and bandwidth limitations can be particularly problematic.
For this reason, you should be testing your entertainment apps from the perspective of users spread across the world. Doing so allows you to represent multiple geographies and carrier networks in your tests, ensuring that your app performs properly not just from the location where your testing team is located, but from all of the locations where your actual users reside.
Test for Multiple Screen Resolutions
Variations in screen resolution can have a significant impact on how content is rendered. Attempting to display content at a screen resolution that software developers didn’t plan for can result in pixelated images, distorted images or images that aren’t fully visible.
That’s why you should be testing how content on your entertainment app is rendered under different screen resolutions. Testing for just one or a handful of resolutions isn’t enough.
You can perform these tests manually, by reviewing content rendering by hand. A better approach, however, is to take advantage of AI tools that can automatically compare renderings of the same content under different screen resolutions to detect inconsistencies. That’s a much faster, more efficient, and more scalable way to ensure your content appears as users expect it to.
Entertainment apps are a unique category of software, and they require a unique testing strategy. Testing teams need to test for factors that aren’t important for most other types of apps, such as evaluating whether video and audio streams are in sync. They also need to minimize latency during testing and test across multiple geographic locations and screen resolutions. Practices like these are the only means of ensuring that entertainment apps deliver the user experience necessary to succeed in highly competitive niches.